The music scene in Columbia has a variety of options for different kinds of music lovers. These three are some of the most well-known venues that offer live music. You can get an idea of what each offers.


This is probably Columbia’s best-known music venue, and it has a long tradition of booking big artists. The main floor in front of the stage is standing-room-only with a bar at the back wall.

Another bar is upstairs with seating on a balcony that curves high above the main floor. The venue can hold up to 500 people according to its website, but the structural design gives concert-goers an up close and personal experience.

The 1920-era architecture also adds to the ambience, giving the place its own distinct feel. Notable artists who performed at The Blue Note this year include Louis the Child, Cold War Kids and Tech N9ne. Concert tickets range from free to around $40. For some of the big touring artists who have performed there, this is an appealing price.


This venue has the same owners as The Blue Note, but is different in size and atmosphere. Inside, Rose Music Hall has a capacity of around 150, but when combined with its outdoor venue Rose Park it could hold more than 1,000, according to its website. The venue usually schedules regional and local musicians.

The outdoor area was recently renovated, completing the construction of a stage that can provide artists production capabilities similar to the Blue Note. Inside, the building is a rectangle, with tables and chairs lining one wall and a bar filling the other. In between is a wooden floor and a small stage at the back.

In its early years, Rose was called Mojos, and according to its website, it hosted Arcade Fire and The Black Keys before they were well known. Concert tickets here are usually cheaper than the Blue Note, but still range from free to around $40, depending on who is playing.


Across the street from Rose in the North Village Arts District is the smaller, locally owned restaurant and music venue Café Berlin. Since it expanded to add a small stage and bar in 2014, Café Berlin has been a haven for local artists.

A restaurant by day and a music venue by night, it stages a wide variety of performances ranging from spoken word to indie rock to hip-hop. If you’re a musician or entertainer, this is a smart place to start performing live to a receptive audience.

Café Berlin has a relaxed atmosphere with a small, low stage that puts performers just feet away from the audience. Capacity is 250 according to its website and shows typically cost around $5.

  • Reporter, summer 2017; Copy editor, reporter, designer; Reach me at

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